A farm worker holds a sickle during a crop harvest in paddy fields near Thimmapuram. (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)

Farmers’ Body Sees No Relief In Modi’s Hike In Support Prices For Kharif Crops

The All India Kisan Sabha today said that Bharatiya Janata Party government failed to deliver on its “tall claims” of ensuring that it will fix minimum support prices according to the recommendations of the Swaminathan commission.

“Four years of the BJP government has passed without doing anything for farmers and they are now seeking to hoodwink farmers by making an aggressive campaign on the eve of impending elections,” the AIKS said in a media statement. “Also no steps have been taken to ensure assured procurement. Without assured procurement any such announcement is only notional and will not accrue to the cultivating peasantry.”

The decision to raise minimum support prices for kharif crops including paddy and ragi, taken by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, comes less than a year before the next general elections.

Also Read: Minimum Support Price For Paddy Hiked By 13%

The MSP for common variety paddy, the most important kharif crop, will be raised by Rs 200 over last year’s Rs 1,550 per quintal. The previous highest hike in paddy MSP was Rs 170 per quintal in the 2012-13 crop year. In the last four years, the NDA government has raised the paddy MSP between Rs 50-80 per quintal.

The farmers’ body said that Modi’s administration had promised implementation of the Swaminathan Commission’s recommendations of fixing MSP according to the C2+50 percent formula, but they announced the MSP based on A2+FL costs instead of the promised more comprehensive C2 costs, the farmers body said.

The Swaminathan Commission has suggested that MSPs be fixed on the basis of a comprehensive measure of cultivation costs that includes the imputed cost of capital and the rent on the land (called C2) to give farmers 50 percent returns, rather than a narrower measure that takes into account the costs incurred by the farmer and the value of family labour (A2+FL).

The BJP government’s tall claims that the decision on kharif MSP is historic falls flat when one compares with the actual promise and the gap between A2+FL and C2costs. It actually is a historic betrayal of the promise made to farmers offixing MSP at a level of at least 150 percent of the C2 cost of production.
All India Kisan Sabha Statement

The AIKS also alleged that apart from not using the promised C2+50 percent formula for calculating the MSP, the government was using last year’s costs for arriving at the decision. It also claimed that there was a “huge disparity” in cost calculation by Central and state agencies.

The AIKS has chalked out a mass ‘Jail Bharo’ campaign on Aug. 9 and a ‘Mazdoor Kisan Sangharsh Rally’ on Sept. 5. It has called upon all “democratic” organisations and individuals to protest the “betrayal” by the BJP government.

Also Read: Government Committed To Agri Sector Growth, PM Modi On MSP Hike

Watch this discussion with Ajay Vir Jakhar, chairman of Bharat Krishak Samaj and Ashok Dhawale, president of All India Kisan Sabha.

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